It’s no secret that equestrianism is an expensive sport. In fact, it’s probably one of the reasons people refuse to try it out in the first place. Fortunately for beginners, the high cost of equestrian products doesn’t have to be an issue.
According to Tack and Bridle, it is perfectly fine to go for the bare minimum at this stage, both in terms of product quality and quantity. From apparel to safety gear, let’s go over some of the items to prioritize when getting started with horse riding.
Horseback Riding Gear for Beginners
If the “horse bug” hasn’t quite gotten to you yet, you may be having second thoughts about getting specialized gear. That’s all well and good. After all, the sport can set you back a serious amount of cash.
Nevertheless, the great thing about equestrianism is that even the bare minimum should be able to get you through the first few horseback lessons. Here are some of the affordable gear you can secure for the first leg of your journey:
1. Riding Pants
Some call them breeches, while others know them as riding jeans or pants. They are seamless along the inside and usually have patches of grippy material around the knee area.
Aside from making you feel comfortable on the back of a horse, riding pants also secure you safely stay in the saddle. These are the two functions of riding tights beginners should be most concerned with. Worrying about style tends to mean putting more money into getting a stylish pair.
Called paddock boots in English disciplines, leather boots are one-inch ankle boots with excellent tread and are great for beginner horseback riders. You can also opt for cowboy boots that aren’t so stylish. That way, you won’t mind them getting stuck in the mud every once in a while. Still, they should be up there comfort-wise and have at least one-inch heels.
Why are heels important? They are what hold on to the stirrup and keep your foot from slipping through. You can’t imagine how dangerous it is for a beginner to lose their balance and fall off the horse. Tall leather boots are also an option should you prefer them over the other.
Holding onto rubber or leather reins can be uncomfortable, especially if the reins are new and rough. It could take a while for them to smoothen out and become soft, and you don’t have time to wait that long as a beginner.
If your hands sweat a lot, it could also slicken the reins and keep you from having a firm grip. This is where gloves come into play. These items shape around your fingers and hands perfectly while having the grippy material on the palm side to help you hold on safely and securely.
When it comes to gloves, you must find a pair that fits you well. Of course, they shouldn’t be so bulky either that they prevent you from gripping onto the reins correctly.
A jacket, shirt, or sweater to go along with any of the items we just listed should be good enough for beginner horseback riding. As long as your shirts have breathable fabrics that allow you to move freely, you’re good to go.
It is important to remember that there is still some danger to equestrianism despite the beginner-friendly horse you’ve been assigned. That’s why you will need to wear your helmet when riding.
There is really no telling what a horse will do, and you probably don’t have the reflexes or the instincts of a veteran rider yet to pick up on these things. If a horse does something to make you lose your balance and fall, you could get a head injury.
When picking a helmet, go for one specifically designed for the demands of horseback riding. Your instructor should be able to tell you if you need to secure one ahead of time or if the riding school will provide one for you.
6. Safety Vest
Aside from the head, your chest is also prone to getting injured when you fall off a horse. Hence, you will require a safety vest to protect that area and the vital organs within.
While we are sure you will do your best to prevent these things from happening, it is crucial to remember that there is only so much within your control. A fall will happen one day, and you want to be sure you are fully protected when it does.
Why Horseback Riding Gear Is Important
Horseback riding gear ensures you have a comfortable and safe experience riding a horse, which is of utmost importance for beginners. These pieces of equipment also help you learn faster and, should you want to, help you advance to the higher levels of equestrianism more smoothly.
When picking these items out, always keep the sizing in mind. Having gear pieces that don’t fit correctly is as good as not having gear at all.